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The HEART of the Matter

Recently, the media has been quick to jump to conclusions, especially when current events align with liberal talking points.  The recent feeding frenzy began following a church shooting during a Bible Study at a Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Sadly, nine dead African Americans are being used as a political pawn to accomplish a specific agenda, ban the Confederate Flag.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, Luke 6:45.

Since June 17, the night of these murders, anyone who displays, owns or doesn’t condemn this flag has been labeled an accessory to this hate crime.  Afraid of negative press, P.G.A. star Bubba Watson decided to paint over the flag on his General Lee, Nascar offered fans attending the July 4th weekend race at Daytona American flags in exchange for Confederate ones and several in the south have removed this symbol from state buildings and court houses.  While this act of terror on Christians is an awful tragedy, the human heart is the main culprit not a flag.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

During debates with religious leaders and discussions with his own twelve disciples, Jesus proclaimed that what comes out of a man or woman makes them unclean.  Hearts set on evil are like ticking time bombs ready to explode.  Whether killers display a Confederate flag or swastika, acts are conceived by angry hearts according to Jesus, Matthew 5:21-22.  There will always be opinions which have some valid points.  However, owning the Confederate flag doesn’t make you anti-Christian or anti-black.  Rather, those who are raised and taught to embrace bigotry are planting seeds of evil for future actions.  May those filled with hatred receive a spiritual heart transplant to insure future attacks will cease.

by Jay Mankus



A Prayer for the Verbally Assaulted

Canadian born Rock Star Bryan Adams was right when he sang “love cuts like a knife.”  Lesser known contemporary singer Wes King added to this concept, focusing on Sticks and Stones which wound human souls.  Whether you hear it through the grapevine, feel it through dirty looks or experience harsh words first hand, no one likes to be verbally assaulted.

Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues, Psalm 120:2.

When gossip spreads, innuendos fly and rumors begin to sway people against you, helplessness can consume your heart.  Thus, if no one has your back to set the record straight, a supernaturally intervention is often necessary.  Although the context may be different, desperate individuals cry out to the heavens asking for a shell of protection against the flaming arrows of evil spewed from the mouths of bitter people.

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. – Psalm 120:6-7

Although verbal attacks will continue throughout your lifetime, make sure you don’t lower yourself to others’ standards or begin to stoop to a level of pettiness.  Rather, as the curses come forth, place your trust in God above, leaning on the Lord in times of distress, Psalm 120:1.  The moment you sense an urge to retaliate, make sure you choose your words wisely.  As difficult as it may be, follow the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you want others to do unto you.  If successful, your act of kindness will fulfill the words of Proverbs 25:22, heaping coals on the heads of those you verbally assault you.

by Jay Mankus

The Lie-Oh-Meter

In politics, the experts, life long politicians and successful campaign managers have suggested lying is all part of the game.  Little white lies are like wild cards in poker, waiting for just the right moment to be played.  While this style may work in the corporate world, sooner or later, what comes around goes around.  When this moment arrives, the Lie-Oh-Meter will expose the shady for their untruthful ways.

I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law. – Psalm 119:163

As for parents and teachers, a face to face encounter, staring a suspect in the eye is a good starting point.  Based upon the television series on Fox, Lie To Me, which aired for two full seasons beginning in 2009, liars tend to demonstrate facial expressions.  Thus, law enforcement officials use this science based upon research done by Paul Ekman, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California in San Francisco.  Instead of relying on out dated polygraph tests, body language has become the new Lie-Oh-Meter.

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. – Proverbs 12:22

From God’s perspective, a false witness is a punishable offense, Proverbs 19:9.  Going one step farther, deceitful ways can result in being excommunicated from part of God’s family, Psalm 101:7.  Yet, Christians alike have embraced the practice of embellishment, creating a society of hypocrites.  The only way to break free from this addiction is to cherish God’s law.  Only when this is achieved will souls begin to love God’s commands like the Psalmists of old.  Until this day, rely on the Bible to ascertain truth from fiction, serving as a modern day Lie-Oh-Meter.

by Jay Mankus


Secrets of the Heart

If you are a keen observer, subtle signs like body language may get your attention.  Others who are good listeners can detect clues, hidden signals individuals are trying to express without being obvious.  Such is the case of the Psalmist; author of Psalm 119.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. – Psalm 119:10.

This passage suggests that good intentions can be derailed by an impure heart.  Human efforts only take you so far as a disease has been passed on into DNA, resulting in generations of imperfect people.  The weeping prophet did not hold anything back in his warnings to the nation of Israel, calling the heart deceitful above all things, Jeremiah 17:9-10.

10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. – Romans 3

While the heart is the well-spring of life, Proverbs 4:23, its fragile and vulnerable.  Harsh words can cut like a knife, leaving spiritual wounds deep inside an innocent soul.  For this reason, Jesus urged his followers to become born again, receiving a heart transplant through the indwelling of a Mighty Counselor, John 3:3-5.  Even if you experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the heart still needs further protection, Ephesians 6:12-18.  Therefore, as you uncover secrets of the heart, lean on God’s grace until the cleansing of your heart, sanctification, is complete.

by Jay Mankus

Praying in Vain

Whether you are old, young or somewhere in between, hopelessness can lead people to question what they are doing?  When things don’t go your way, creating a snowball effect, minds might begin to wonder if God really cares about you and your situation?  If these trials persist, doubt often enters the scene causing individuals to begin to believe, “what’s the point of praying?”  “Why should I continue to pour my heart and soul into prayer, when nothing seems to change.”

This is where you will find David in Psalm 5.  In the midst of his circumstances, this servant of God wanted to make sure he wasn’t praying in vain.  Thus, he reminds God of his attributes, character and personality early in the morning.  Using God as a crutch, David realizes the Lord is his last resort, the only force able to transform his predicament.  Tired of seeing arrogant, deceitful, evil and wicked individuals proper, David pleads with God based upon Moses words in the Old Testament.  Not worthy to be called righteous, David rests in mercy, Psalm 5:7, entering God’s presence with reverence and respect.  Prayers like this one inspired the Lord to call his humble servant a man after God’s heart, 1 Samuel 16:7.

Wherever this blog may find you, confidence lies in results.  As soon as you see direct answers and progress, your attitude will improve.  However, if your words offered up in faith return unanswered, one of 3 things may be true,  First, God may be keeping you from something that might steer you away from Him.  Second, God’s timing is likely not aligned with your prayer, resulting in a “not right now” response, Ecclesiastes 3:11.  Finally, there is a chance that someone, something or an unconfessed sin from the past is blocking God’s reply, Isaiah 1:15-17.  Follow the principles of Isaiah 1:18-19 and you will leave vanity for sanity, experiencing a slice of heaven here on earth, Matthew 6:33-34.

by Jay Mankus

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